Is this semicolon correct?

"I put conditioner on my hairy knuckles; it makes them soft and shiny."

(Ignore the strange statements, it's a project for year 7.)

  • it ties two connected clauses; it's weird, but it's coherent to my mind. A grammarian might be a better judge. Commented Nov 11, 2014 at 20:36
  • It looks like a textbook usage of a semicolon to me.
    – Crazy Eyes
    Commented Nov 11, 2014 at 22:46
  • Hairy knuckles.. haha. That's exactly what is used in this awesome illustration. theoatmeal.com/comics/semicolon
    – dockeryZ
    Commented Nov 12, 2014 at 1:22

1 Answer 1


This is an appropriate use of the semi-colon - a situation "where sentences are grammatically independent but the meaning is closely connected". (Michael Swan, Practical English Usage, 2005.476)

  • I'm gonna have to get a copy of that book - I've seen it ref'd so many times since I joined ;-) Commented Nov 11, 2014 at 20:55
  • I have copies of many major grammars on my bookshelves, but Practical English Usage is the book I find most useful for dealing with questions from learners - and from less experienced teachers! Swan gives clear, accurate explanations of over 600 points which regularly cause difficulties to foreign learners, with relevant practical examples. He uses fairly traditional terminology, familiar to most learners. Some of this terminology may not be favoured by academic linguists, but Swan is not writing for them.
    – tunny
    Commented Nov 11, 2014 at 21:06

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